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Around 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to basic financial services. At the same time, 90% of people live in areas covered by mobile networks and over 75% of people living in emerging economies own a mobile phone. This makes the mobile phone the primary tool for giving wide access to banking services.
Largest financial services network in Pakistan
In 2009, Telenor partnered with Tameer Microfinance Bank to roll out easypaisa to provide mobile financial services to Pakistan’s unbanked. Since launch, easypaisa has become the largest financial services network in country, carrying out more than 100 million transactions through its 20,000 shops across 700 cities. CNN has called easypaisa “the model of the future” and the World Bank´s CGAP labeled easypaisa as the third biggest mobile money service in the world in terms of customers. Last week, in Barcelona easypaisa was again recognized. The service was named as a ‘Mobile Money Sprinter’ in the GSMA’s 2012 Global Money Adoption Survey.
In the video below, Roar Bjaerum, Head of easypaisa Telenor Pakistan, talks about the role of telcos in driving financial inclusion, and some of the reasons for easypaisa’s success:
”If you look at many of the 150 mobile money deployments around the world today, many of them are launched as value-added services. Our approach with easypaisa was to launch this as a totally new business line. That willingness to invest in and build this as a separate business is one of the major differences you find between the ‘sprinters’, as they are called in this survey, and the other operators.”